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Man Sentenced For Throwing Fatal Punch at Beach Party

James Malecek agrees to plea deal, will spend 145 days in jail.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Malecek, 19, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 145 days in jail. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    An Chicago man was sentenced Thursday morning in connection with a beach party fight that turned deadly.

    James Malecek, 19, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

    Victim's Father On Malecek Plea Deal: "He's Been Given a Gift"

    [CHI] Victim's Father On Malecek Plea Deal: "He's Been Given a Gift"
    The family of a man who died after suffer a fatal blow in a beach fight nearly two years ago aren't happy with the plea deal given to the man who threw the punch. (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    A judge accepted the plea agreement, and Malecek will serve 145 days in jail beginning July 1.

    Malecek punched Mt. Carmel high school student Kevin Kennelly during a July Fourth disturbance in Long Beach, Ind., in 2011.

    Malecek had just graduated from Loyola Academy and was set to begin college at Texas Christian University in Forth Worth. Both families owned second homes in Long Beach.

    A teary-eyed Malecek apologized to the victim's family in court, saying, "Mr. and Mrs. Kennelly, I never intended to injure your son, Kevin. It truly was a terribly accident."

    But the Kennelly's aren't happy with the plea deal.

    "He's been given a gift," Kevin Kennelly, Sr. said outside the courtroom. "He did it, he's been very lightly sentenced for it, he believes it was an accident, I don't know how anyone could believe that."

    Malecek will have to wear an electronic monitoring device for up to three-and-a-half years after he's released.